The Contrarian

“In the investment markets, what everyone knows is usually not worth knowing.”

Populism Threatens To Upset Europe’s Establishment

Since the Brexit, we have written that people in other EU countries would start revolting against their tired, old, worn-out politicians and demand something similar to what got the new US President elected. The movement is called “populism.”

It is now thought by well-connected analysts that Italy may consider dumping the Euro currency, which would be another sign of revolt against the bureaucracy of the EU in Brussels. France, Netherlands, and others may not be far behind. They resent having to send billions of euros to the EU government and just getting more bureaucracy in return.

Imagine, Brussels has over 80,000 employees occupying space there. We don’t dare use the word “work.”

Several important countries in the EU have elections this year. The populists, who also want to the people to decide on exiting the EU, are gaining rapidly. And that brings us to France. It has been our view that Marie Le Pen will become the Prime Minister of France. She could be considered in views similar to Trump. People love her speeches.

On February 5, her speech was often interrupted by a crowd of thousands, with cheers of “France! France!” and “On est chez nous!” (“This is our country”).

She promises limitations on “uncontrolled immigration,” she is against “globalization,” and for reducing the bureaucracy, dropping out of the eurozone, and taxing foreign workers. French people seem to be saying, “what’s not to like?”

The other candidate is François Fillon. But he is flawed. It was allegedly found that he put family members on the governmental payroll although they performed no work. That’s not good.

Le Pen Platform

  1. Special tax on job contracts for foreigners
  2. Slashing migration by 80 per cent to 10,000 people a year
  3. Make it much harder to become a French citizen
  4. Jobs should go to French workers first
  5. Reshape the EU into a loose confederation of nations.
  6. If talks failed to reshape EU in 6 months, hold a referendum on leaving the EU.
  7. Exit the euro, reestablish the French franc as the national currency.

She said:  “There is no right wing and no left wing any more. There is only those who support globalization and patriots,” said Le Pen. She recognizes, just like President Trump, that the agenda of the parties is always to promote a fight between political parties. That is a distraction. The real fight is between people who pay taxes and want the politicians to serve them, and those who go along and profit from the corruption.

Netherlands, Spain, Italy, France, and even Germany see the popularity of the nationalists rising. That’s not necessarily good. It happened in the 1930’s in Germany and didn’t end well. The problem is in Brussels.

The EU government needs a serious reform before it collapses. But who will lead that effort? Germany’s Angela Merkel has been in the job too long. Europe really needs some young, energetic leadership.